Tag Archives: tip

Tip: Find Out Why Windows 8 Won’t Sleep

I recently started having a problem where my Windows 8 computer screensaver wouldn’t kick in and the computer wouldn’t sleep. I expected a recent change to have caused this but after backing out the latest program install the problem remained. It was time to brush off some dusty brain cells and remember the command to see what process is keeping the screen saver from kicking in. The following command, when run from an administrator command prompt, shows what process (or processes) is keeping the screen saver or other power saving features from kicking in.

powercfg /requests

This will display the processes interfering with the power saving features. In my case it was the Synergy process.

Screenshot showing powercfg results


Tip: Manually Installing VirtualBox Guest Additions

I’ve done a bunch of VirtualBox installs, upgrades and VM migrations recently. I’ve found that the automated Guest Additions installation hasn’t always kicked off. Typically the installation can be started by selecting Device -> Install Guest Additions from the menu when the VM is running. But this wasn’t working for me, so I needed to manually install the additions. This was done with both Windows and OS X hosts with Windows guest OS’s.

This procedure gets down to the basics. In most cases I did not have to locate the Guest Additions ISO as it was already available in the library and just needed to be mounted. You can skip to “Installing Guest Additions” and see if the ISO is already available.

Locate the Guest Additions ISO

Mac OS X is a little more involved. First locate VirtualBox in the Application folder, right-click it and select show package contents.

Right-Click and select Show Package Contents






Then browse to Contents/MacOS/VBoxGuestAdditions.iso. Copy it to a location that accessible when browsing for files.

Browse to the guest additions ISO












On Windows PC hosts the VBoxGuestAdditions.iso file is located in c:program filesoraclevirtualbox. It can be accessed directly and does not need to be moved.

Installing Guest Additions

Start the VM that needs the guest additions.

Click the CD icon in the bottom task bar.

Click the CD icon





If it’s listed, select VBoxGuestAdditions.iso. If it’s not listed select “Choose…” and browse to the ISO file identified in “Locate Guest Additions ISO” above.

If autorun kicks in then run VBoxWindowsAdditions.exe. If autorun is disabled then browse to it in file explorer and run it. You’ll need to reboot when the installation is done.

For the record, this was with VirtualBox 4.2.4.


Screenshot of my main iPad screen

iPad/iOS 6 Wireless Sync

Screenshot of my main iPad screenEver since upgrading my iPad 3 to iOS 6 I haven’t been able to do a wireless sync with iTunes. My iPhone 4S does a wireless sync just fine. I tried the usual troubleshooting things such as restarts and re-entering settings. I was pretty sure it was my iPad or iTunes that was the problem. The iPad also had a problem where the wireless network would drop every couple of days and I’d have to toggle wireless off then on (on the iPad) to get it to see the network so the iPad was my first choice as the problem source. I don’t use iTunes very much with my iPad so I wasn’t aggressively looking for a fix (my opinion of iTunes is that it’s a big ball of bugs and frustration).

I was listening to the McCast podcast (Oct 5th episode) when Adam mentioned a step I hadn’t tried. While he described a different wireless issue it was close enough. And sure enough, his suggestion to reset the network settings worked.

To reset the settings: Settings -> General -> Reset -> Reset Network Settings

The iPad will restart after confirmation. I did not have to re-enter my wireless network security settings so I expected to still have the problem. But sure enough, I was able to initiate the sync and it completed without a problem. It’s too soon to tell if the problem dropping the wireless network every couple of days is also fixed, but I’m hopeful.

For the record, I run iTunes on a Mac and OS X, iTunes and my iPad are all  on the latest versions.

Makes me glad that the MacCast is the one Apple specific podcast I still listen to on a regular basis.


Bento for Mac Tip tile

Bento Tip: Syncing A Database Between Macs

Bento for Mac Tip tileI use Bento a bit and I’ve been using a symbolic link to point to the database in a Dropbox folder. This has worked pretty well, except occasionally the symbolic link would break. I recently eliminated the symbolic link and it seems to be working well.

To set this up you’ll still need Dropbox but then you can skip the symbolic link.

  1. Decide where you want the database in Dropbox. I want mine in /Dropbox/data.
  2. Move the existing Bento database(s) to the new location. By default the default database is created in [UserHome]/Library/Application Support/Bento and is called bento.bentodb.
  3. Start Bento while holding down the option key so that the following dialog appears:
  4. Click the choose button and browse to the database you just moved and select it. It should now be listed as the selected database as shown below:
    Note that in the above screenshots I checked the “Show This Dialog” option so this dialog always shows and I don’t have to hold the Option key down. This is useful if you have multiple Bento databases. I do but don’t want them all in Dropbox. Bento will continue to open the last database selected unless told to do otherwise.
  5. Click OK and the database will open.

Words of warning. Bento isn’t designed to be opened by multiple PCs at the same time so while the database will sync, be sure to only have it open on one computer at a time. Be sure to keep backups in case the syncing causes bad things to happen. I’ve been syncing this way with Bento 4, although Bento 3 does have the same database selection dialog.

Placard for Windows Home Server Tips

Rearranging Windows Home Server Hard Drives

Placard for Windows Home Server TipsOne of the nice features of Windows Home Server is that the existing drives can be moved around without breaking anything. I benefited from this recently and did mention it in my last Trail Log but figured it was worth highlighting as a tip.

If you need to rearrange disk in a Windows Home Server or move them to new connections you can do so without any special work (other than shutting down WHS for the move). When I moved the warm hard drives from the internal bays to the external bays all I had to do was shut down the server and physically move the drives.  Likewise when I re-seated all the cables I didn’t have to worry about putting them in the same SATA port.

One thing to keep in mind is that if your using a home build like I am, and use the Disk Management for Windows Home Server Add-in you will still need to keep track of the drive bay assignments when you move drives or cables.